I know this is a thin statement, but I saw in documentary about Kabbalah that there was a great kabbalist who could read others mind by looking at their forehead?

How is this possible? Can anyone do that today? And if this is true, is there a commandment against it? Are we allowed to read other peoples mind?

(If the question is way off, I can just close it)


Knowing what another person is thinking is one of the seven things that are hidden from people (Pesachim 54b).

As a side point, it is told that the Noda Bihuda challenged the Ba'al Shem Tov to tell him what he was thinking about. The Ba'al Shem Tov replied "שויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד". The Noda Bihuda told him that that wasn't what he was thinking about. The Ba'al Shem Tov asked, "And why not?"

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  • awesome! humor and deepness. very good – kouty Apr 4 '16 at 18:47
  • @kouty It is hard to be having deep thoughts of God when you're busy arguing with someone who thinks they can read your mind. – Double AA Apr 4 '16 at 18:49
  • @DoubleAA see this – kouty Apr 4 '16 at 19:03
  • I assume the story is meant as a joke, as I greatly doubt the Noda Biyehuda ever met the Besht – wfb Apr 4 '16 at 20:51
  • @wfb chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/2698436/jewish/… Not that that's proof they met, or that the story isn't apocryphal. It's a nice story though because whether you're misnagid or chasidish, you think your guy won. – Double AA Apr 4 '16 at 21:48

thoughts of other people's minds can be revealed by divine inspiration (ruach hakodesh) such as by Rivka in

Genesis 27:42

And Rebecca was told of the words of Esau, her elder son, and she sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and she said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau regrets [his relationship] to you [and wishes] to kill you

Rashi comments:

And Rebecca was told of: She was told by Divine Inspiration (ruach hakodesh) what Esau was thinking in his heart. [From Gen. Rabbah 67:9]

these are very advanced spiritual levels. see the mesilat yesharim (path of the just) by Rabbi Luzatto which discusses the ladder to ruach hakodesh.

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  • these are very advanced spiritual levels?Is this Kabbalah? – Aigle Apr 4 '16 at 21:47
  • @Eagel dont know. but kabala study is part of the mitzva of torah study for one advanced enough in torah and yira. see the mesilat yesharim. keep in mind also, reading minds is not an extra sense like sight, rather it is revealed occasionally. – ray Apr 5 '16 at 5:13

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